MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Lacrosse team will return to the Superior Dome for their first home games of the season this weekend, hosting Grand Valley State University and Tiffin University.
Follow @NMU_Wildcats on Twitter for continued coverage throughout the weekend.
One Love Game: Friday's game will serve as the team's One Love Game, Founded in 2010 to honor Yeardley Love, a senior student-athlete who was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend just weeks before graduation, the One Love Foundation works to ensure everyone understands the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. At the game, the lacrosse team will have an attire store open and will be taking donations for the One Love Foundation. Visit the One Love website for more information.
Last time out: In their last appearance, the Wildcats opened Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play at Concordia University, St. Paul and scored 13 goals in the second half. However, a slow start to the game put NMU behind 11-2 at the half which was too much to overcome and they fell 18-15.
Scoring leaders: Leading the team's offense this year is freshman Emily Dvorak (Oconomowoc, Wis./Arrowhead), who has team-highs of 17 goals and five assists. Her 17 goals are tied for third in the conference. She is 16th in the country with 4.33 goals per game. Sophomore Graison Ringlever (Mattawan, Mich.) has notched 13 goals and two assists.
Shooting with purpose: NMU is currently one of the best shooting teams in the country, ranking third nationally. This year, the squad is shooting .553 percent, with Dvorak and freshman Ellie Bahr (Crystal, Minn./Benilde St. Margarets) leading the way. Dvorak is shooting a team-best .654 percent and Bahr is at .643. Ringlever is shooting .542 percent. No one on the team is shooting less than .429 percent. The team is tenth in the nation from the eight-meter, posting a free position shooting percentage of .538.
Protecting the cage: Freshman Emily Karbaum (Sudlersville, Md./Queen Annes) is leading the team with 15.48 saves per game, totaling 43 saves this season. Senior Brianna Bangle (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall) has posted 15 saves in two appearances and boasts a .556 save percentage. The pair has put NMU 22nd nationally in save percentage.
Picking up the ball: Freshman Shannon Walus (Brighton, Mich.) and Karbaum lead the Wildcats with 11 ground balls on the season. Sophomore Leiss Luyckx (Troy, Mich./Bloomfield Hills) has tallied 10. Karbaum and Luyckx have both caused five turnovers.
NMU versus GVSU: NMU fell to GVSU 22-2 last season during the Wildcats' inaugural season. The Lakers enter Friday at 3-2 on the season and is coming off a 20-10 victory over Tiffin and a 20-11 win versus Wheeling Jesuit University.
NMU versus Tiffin: The Dragons enter the weekend at 3-3 on the season after collecting an 11-10 victory over Findlay University. They will play CSP on Friday. Last season, Tiffin bested NMU in their only prior matchup.